National One round-up: Biggar stay on track at top of the table

Melrose return to second place in National One table with big win over Stirling County while Gala pick up valuable victory over Boroughmuir

Biggar won the big match of the day away to Heriot's. Image: Nigel Pacey
Biggar won the big match of the day away to Heriot's. Image: Nigel Pacey

BIGGAR won the top of the table clash with Heriot’s Blues on Saturday while Gala secured a crucial bonus point victory over Boroughmuir to edge them clear of danger.

After Heriot’s defeated Tennent’s Premiership outfit GHA in the Scottish Cup last week they would have been feeling good heading into the big match with the men from Hartreemill at Goldenacre. However, Biggar continued where they had left off a fortnight ago against Melrose and were clinical when their chances came in this 36-14 away triumph.

Luhann Kutze (2), Ross Jackson, Ewan Stewart and Andrew Jardine scored tries for the visitors in the bonus point win, with Jardine kicking four conversions and one penalty. Louis Meyner and Finlay Hutchison scored the Heriot’s tries with Graham Wilson converting both.


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“The performance in this game was our best of the season so far,” Biggar player/coach Craig Borthwick said. “We controlled things for large parts of the game and never really let Heriot’s play which was pleasing.

“We built some good pressure and scored some nice tries. Now we need to just keep working hard and raising our standards as a squad because the run up to Christmas is going to be very important and there is a lot of rugby to be played, we are looking forward to the next few games.”

Gala went into their home match against Boroughmuir off the back of a loss and a draw in the league, but last week’s Scottish Cup win over Kelso gave them some confidence. And they started the game well with a try through Fergus Johnston before the same man scored again and Ruairi Howarth converted this time to make the lead 12-0.

Things got even better when Rex Jeffrey and then John Watson crossed the whitewash, the latter claiming the bonus point try, which was converted by Howarth to make it 24-0 to the Maroons.

It was 24-7 at the break, then after the interval captain Euan Dods and Jeffrey added further tries with Howarth slotting a third conversion as they went on to win 36-14.

The result leaves Gala in ninth place in the table with 18 points and crucially they are seven points ahead of Boroughmuir who are in 10th, and 10 clear of Kelso in 11th.

“We’re starting to get some key players back from injury and a bit of consistency in our selection which has helped us over the last couple of weeks,” said Gala skipper Dods. “There’s still plenty to work on, but we were extremely pleased with some of our defensive sets and our attack especially in the first half. Hopefully we can keep this momentum going into playing Ayr this coming weekend in another tough match.”

Boroughmuir’s points came from two Jack Hamilton tries and conversions from Calum Anderson and Robin Weersma.

Savills

Kelso are on eight points in second bottom after they lost out 42-30 to Watsonians at Myreside. The hosts, who are seventh in the table after this bonus point victory, scored tries through Thomas Klein, Stuart Allison (2), Matt McPhillips and captain Chris Bell, with 17 points coming from the boot of Kerr Stoddart.

Kelso’s Paudie Lawlor scored three tries and Craig Dods kicked 15 points, but the Poynder Park men had left themselves too much to do after a sluggish start.

“We did well to get back into the game after half-time, but we must stop these slow starts and letting teams get a head start,” said captain Murray Hastie. “We were fairly unlucky not to score four tries and secure one or two bonus points, but fair play to Watsonians who played well.

“Now we need to take our recent learnings into training this week ahead of a really important game with Boroughmuir this coming weekend.”

Dundee HSFP are still searching for their first league win of 2019-20 after they lost 35-25 at home to Cartha Queens Park.

“This was a game we should have won, we were in the lead, but conceded soft tries,” rued Dundee head coach Colin Sangster.

Duncan McIntyre and Lewis Macnamara (2) scored the Dundee tries, with Paul Kerr kicking 10 points in a game moved to Morgan Rugby Club.

Michael Nellany was named man-of-the-match for Cartha who are now eighth, Bosco Lafon, Michael Robertson, Juan Phyfer and Tony Lopez scoring tries for the Glasgow outfit with Wayne Burrows kicking 15 points.

“We are pleased to get five points and our first away win of the season,” said Cartha head coach Thomas Davidson. “We made it difficult for ourselves and never really got into full flow which was frustrating, and we know we must get better to keep picking up results in the coming weeks.”

Melrose opened their new 4G pitch at The Greenyards in style with a bono-point win over Stirling County Wolves that puts the Borderers back into second place. Keiran Clark, captain Richard Ferguson, Ben McLean and Gregor Lindsay scored tries for Stuart Johnson’s men with David Colvine and Donald Crawford sharing 11 points with the boot.

David Montgomery, Fraser Muir and Adam Shaw scored the Wolves’ tries with skipper Jonny Hope kicking two conversions, to make it 31-19 at the conclusion.

Highland are third ahead of Heriot’s after a 28-3 home triumph over Ayr. Mike Gordon, Hugo Crush and Connor Ross were the home try scorers with Scott Fraser and Craig Irvine kicking the rest of the points, while Jamie Bova notched a penalty for Ayr.

National League Division One results –

02/11/19
DUNDEE HSFP RFC25 - 35CARTHA QUEENS
WATSONIAN RUGBY42 - 30KELSO RFC
HERIOT'S BLUES14 - 36BIGGAR RFC
HIGHLAND RFC28 - 3AYR RFC
GALA RFC36 - 14BOROUGHMUIR
MELROSE RFC31 - 19STIRLING WOLVES

Table as it stands –

Nat 1PWLDFADTBLBPts
Biggar RFC109103871222659045
Heriot's Blues107304032531509138
Melrose Rugby10820266236306038
Highland RFC107303202141066135
Gala RFC10541293250436129
Stirling Wolves1054126726076129
Cartha Queens10460363308557225
Ayr RFC10451245283-385124
Watsonian FC10451246323-775023
Kelso RFC10370186340-1543217
Boroughmuir10280159294-1352212
Dundee HSFP100100169421-252101


Fixtures and results:   Premiership  |  National League 1National League 2  |  Super 6RWC2019


National Two round-up: Dumfries Saints defeat GHK in top of the table clash

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Gary Heatly
About Gary Heatly 97 Articles
Gary has had a love for both rugby and writing for as far back as he can remember. Having cut his teeth in the ‘real world’ of journalism at the Midlothian Advertiser local newspaper for a couple of years between 2005 and 2007, he has since been kept busy covering sport, mainly rugby. He was a member of the editorial team at SCRUM Magazine for 11 years until recently and now provides regular rugby content to various national and local newspapers, magazines and websites via his company GH Media as well as hosting a podcast. Twitter: G_HMedia

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